When I think of fantastic cigars of the past year, one that jumps right out at me is the Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig (which we reviewed here). If you are active in the cigar community, you have definitely heard, seen or experienced Drew Estates rise to the top of the Premium cigar world. There was a time when Drew Estate was only known for their flavor infused cigars. To tell you the truth before they launched the Liga Privada line I didn’t take them that seriously. I wanted a full bodied, full flavored in your face cigar and they just didn’t produce that at the time. Liga Privada has changed that perception.
Drew Estate has proven that they can hang with the big boys in the full flavored world. Drew Estate is always thinking up something, they have been innovators from the beginning and that trend has not let up and there is evidence of that with2009’s Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig. A short, fat perfecto shaped cigar with a tell tale curly pig tail cap. It’s really a beautiful sight and a pleasure to smoke. Sold in limited numbers of 2000 boxes the cigar sold out very fast and are now a year later almost impossible to find. Drew Estate has satisfied our palette with yet another release of the Flying Pig but this time in the delicious T52 blend. Many will say (and I agree) that the T52 blend is a touch milder, but fuller in flavor. The blend is roughly the same but the T52 sports a Stalk-Cut Habano Wrapper as apposed to the #9’s Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. This years T52 Flying Pig will be sold in bit higher numbers than last years #9 Flying Pig by 1,000 boxes (3,000 boxes of 12 for the T52 compared to 2,000 boxes of 12 for the #9), so get them while you can!
Let see how this stacks up to the #9 shall we?
Cigars Reviewed: Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Wrapper: Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Sun Grown Habano
Binder: Plantation Grown Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Ring Gauge: 60
Vitola: Flying Pig
MSRP: $12.00 (Boxes of 12, $144.00)
Date Released: October 2010
Number of Cigars Released: 3,000 Boxes of 12 Cigars (36,000 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
Visually this cigar is obviously a show stopper. It has a short, fat perfecto look to it that really does make you think of a squat little pig. It has a twisty little pigtail on the cap that looks like it was dunked in vegetable glue but otherwise looks very nice. It sports a beautiful chocolate brown T52 Connecticut Habano wrapper that is quite toothy and rough to the touch. The cigar is very firm and well packed, there are not soft spots to speak of and it has a nice tight wrap.
The pre light aroma is full of chocolate, coffee and a touch of leather. As I clip the pigtail off and I take a cold draw I am hit with a mellow cedar flavor, some coffee, and that “bready” flavor I have come to find in a lot of liga privadas. It’s a very nice, full flavored pre light that you know will lead up to something nice…
I just want to take a moment to compare the #9 flying pig with the T52 Flying Pig. Interestingly, in the picture below you will notice that the T52 Flying Pig is actually a little bit smaller than the #9 flying pig. There is also a difference in the wrapper color between the two with the #9 having more of a reddish color to it where the T52 is more of a chocolate brown color.
Starting off in the first third the cigar just bursts with smoke and flavor from the get go. Right away I am getting lots of coffee, chocolate and leather. There is a bit of pepper on the finish but overall there isn’t as much spice or kick as I was expecting. The cigar is putting off just massive amounts of smoke; it’s almost over bearing but very enjoyable at the same time. The draw is a bit loose so I can attribute a lot of it to that.
Coming into the second third the coffee and chocolate are really dominating the show. I am still getting a touch of leather but it has died down from the first third considerably. There is a hint of clove or perhaps cinnamon on the finish through the nose that is very nice. The cigar is very full in flavor but the spice kick has yet to show. So far it’s not as strong as the #9 (which is to be expected).The finish is nice and long and offers a tingle of pepper on the tongue with coffee and some sweetness at the end.
Finishing up in the final third the cigar is still showing a solid profile. There’s Coffee, chocolate, leather, pepper, and now a really deep earthiness. The cigar literally tastes like rich soil and wet vegetation. It really is showing a lot of flavors in this last third and that’s ideal for me. The odd shape of these makes it really hard to nub them as low as you would other cigars but I can tell you I smoked it till my fingers burned.
I have to say that this vitola is REALLY fun to smoke. It’s not the most ideal size but it’s much more than just a novelty in my eyes. It shows real flavors and it results in a long smoking time. Don’t let the size fool you, it will burn longer than most robustos or toros.
The flavors of the pig compared to the other vitolas in the T52 line are much bolder, it’s much more full flavored and full bodied but I wouldn’t say the strength is any different. I was thinking going into it that it was going to be much more powerful strength wise but it wasn’t the case.
What made this experience nice was the flavors were a bit different than my experiences with other T52 cigars. That is important to me because if this had the same flavors it would be nothing but a unique vitola. This cigar can stand on its own and be its own cigar, it offers something different to the other sizes and that makes it even more unique.
Unlike last year (when boxes of the #9 Flying Pig were sent to retailers a few hundred at a time), the T52 Flying Pig boxes will all be released to retailers at the same time…
The exact Release date for the T52 Flying Pig is unknown to us, but it will be sometime in late October of this year…
Final smoking time was 1 hour 19 minutes
The Bottom Line: I was very impressed with this cigar. It had bold, in your face flavors and a full bodied feel but stayed relatively even keel in the strength department. It also offered a change in profile from other T52 vitolas, and that is a huge bonus for me. As much as I like the T52 better than the #9 traditionally I would have to say I liked the #9 Flying Pig better. It had more of a spice kick that I personally enjoy in my cigars. That is not to say this isn’t a good cigar, and I will be buying a few boxes when they come out.. not only is this vitola is fun to smoke, but it really satisfies with its rich profile and long burn time…
Fwiw, about 2,750 of the total 3,250 boxes of T52 Flying Pigs will be shipping out to the LP Appointed Merchants the week of November 8th, so I suspect most will be receiving by the next week. The remaining balance will be shipped in December as supplies last.
I really love this cigar, just wish we could figure a way to make it more efficiently - oh well, somethings just are what they are.
Nice review and fab photos (as usual) - thanks and fwiw, I am just the opposite, I think I like the T52 FP slightly better than the No. 9... kinda of hard to compare though given that all the currently existing #9 ones are about 2 years old. There is a real enticing sweet spicy cedar in the T52 FP that really captures my attention... regardless both versions remain imo real flavor bombs.